This is a VERY rough video of my solo performance of Morphine’s “Early to Bed” at the Timberline Cafe in Victor, Idaho, USA on Friday, 6 July, 2012. How rough is it? Well, the video is blurry and washed out, and the drummer for the next band is dragging his stoopid f—in’ gear up on stage as I perform. That’s how rough it is. But the audio, recorded through the camera, is surprisingly clear, and you can really hear the big layers kick in on the harp. Make sure to listen to this piece on headphones or speakers with decent bass response, as opposed to crappy laptop speakers, if you want to hear what’s really going on in this piece. It’s all about fat low-frequency tones, and you’re not going to get the full treatment on your laptop speakers.

I’ll be discussing this performance at the SPAH convention in August. There are basically 4 layers in this loop. The first is the drum part, which is pre-recorded and sets the length for the loop. The second is a double-octave-down-with-wah patch that puts a very big bottom on the groove. The third is an octave-down-with-wah patch that reinforces the big low end and gives it more definition, and also (with the wah down to emphasize the high frequencies) provides the fills between vocals. The final patch is the one used for the solo: a one-octave-down Whammy pitch shift that allows me to shift the pitch drastically and dramatically while I solo. The only harmonica used on this recording is a standard diatonic in the key of A, played in second position.

The end result is in my opinion very consistent with the low-rock aesthetic of Morphine, and it certainly puts the harmonica into a new zone or two. All of these sounds, of course, are included in my patch sets for Digitech RP, so check them out if you think you want to hear this stuff coming from your own harp sometime.